Commission and Letter to Ten Ministries
Jonathan Kithcart

B. Childress
May 23, 2011

My initial intent was to write a thesis on the subject of tithing to a few ministers.  Afterward, the Spirit moved me to get
started on a book in order to send copies of my thesis to ten ministers.  I eagerly anticipated their response, at the
same time being a bit fearful of what these great men of God would think of me and my writings.  Would they take me
seriously, or not?  After all, they had their justifications and verses of what they felt and thought, whereas I felt very
strongly  they were not according to the soundness of the Word.  Thankfully, the Holy Spirit gave me confidence that
the Word of God was with me.

One of the ten responded; staff members from three of the others sent a letter attempting to justify the tithing system in
the church, which I am sure you will also find very interesting, not to mention misleading and unfounded in the truth of
the Word of the living God and His Son, the Head of the church.  I knew the men to whom I'd written had huge ministries
and that they were busy about the work of the Lord world wide.  Still, the ones who didn't care to respond could have at
least sent a note along the lines, "We will get back to you on this subject at a later date, Minister Kithcart."  Perhaps
they really thought, "Oh no, here's another wacko God robber!"  So I invite you to take this journey with me to know and
understand the truth and the will of the Head of the church, Who has also appointed me to this matter.

This is basically the letter that I sent them although some statements and truths were added after not hearing from most
of them:

<Salutation and thesis>

    Dear Sir

    I am writing in concern about the so-called tithe in and for the church.  Being a minister myself, I've studied
    the Word for some time now.  Would you please help me understand precisely where in the gospels or the
    epistles of the New Testament that tithing became a law or commandment from our Lord Jesus
    concerning the church, of which He is the Head.  And where is the hint of a curse on these that He laid His
    life down for, if they don't tithe as it was required in the law?  I believe we can agree that not everything
    the Lord said to the Jews pertains to the church and vice versa.

    The Lord was speaking to "this whole nation" in Malachi 3:9.  The body of believers (i.e., the church) is
    mainly concerned with understanding how God felt about Judah's hypocrisy and treachery after their
    return from exile, in short sins against Him, in chapters 1-3, and about the prophecy concerning Elijah the
    prophet to the earth from heaven (4:5,6).   Israel asked the Lord eight questions: Malachi 1:2,6, 7 , Malachi
    2:1,17 and Malachi 3:7, 8, 13.

    Yet, the church is seemingly blind to this, Perhaps it would shed too much light on what is happening
    today.  One question arrests the mind and conscience: Will a man rob God?

    Malachi 3:9 is a real yoke setter for the unlearned: "You are cursed with a curse."  There is no way for a
    redeemed blood-bought child to be cursed while being an heir of God, and joint-heir to His Son.  Do the
    curses of 2:2 and 4:6 apply also to the church?

    And if you think the book of Malachi has nothing to do with the Law, think again and look at 2:6 (law of
    truth), verse 7 (seek the law) verse 8 (at the law), verse 9 (in the law) and chapter 4:4 (remember the Law
    of Moses, My servant).  We as Christians should never have to be reminded of transgressions that
    resulted in curses.  Worthy of our attention are the words spoken by the prophet John the Baptist.  "For
    the Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by way of Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).  Nevertheless
    some refuse to honor the words of the apostle Paul when he said, "For Christ is the end of the law for
    righteousness to everyone that believes" (Romans 10:4).  The next verse is also interesting.

    In Christian theology, the Mosaic Law is usually divided into three parts: the ceremonial, the moral and the
    judicial.  The Ten Commandments comprise the moral part.  The ceremonial part regulated the worship of
    Israel.  The judicial part pertained to the rights between men.  However, the Law should be viewed as a
    unit: "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at one point is guilty of breaking all of it"  
    (Deuteronomy 27:26; James 2:10; Galatians 3:10).  "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh
    be justified in His sight" (Romans 3:20).

    The apostle Paul also mentioned in his letter to the church at Galatia: "Knowing that a man is not justified
    by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we
    might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall
    no flesh be justified" (Galatians 2:16).  He also told them that were being duped back under the law, "that
    no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, the just shall live by faith" (3:11).  I
    wonder, when the apostle Paul became as a Jew  (I Corinthians 9:20) did he remind them of the law of
    tithing?  What do you think?

    In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ demonstrated His deity by issuing several commands that supersede
    the Law.  Six times He repeated the following couplet about various Mosaic commands: "You have heard
    that it was said...But I tell you..." (Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28, 31-32, 33-34, 38-39, 43-44).  Each time, He raised
    the standard of the Mosaic Law above that which was perceived to that which was intended.

    His final command fully encapsulated the intent of the Law - holiness: "Be perfect, therefore, as your
    heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48).  However, perfection was impossible under the Law.  
    Therefore, Christ came as a priest in the order of Melchizedek."  "If perfection could have been attained
    through the Levitical priesthood...Why was there still need for another priest to come - one in the order of
    Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?" (Hebrews 7:11)

    The tithe, therefore, as a component of the Mosaic Law that was never restated as part of the law of
    Christ, and does not apply to Christians.  "While not requiring a tithe of believers today, the New
    Testament does speak of God's blessing on those who give generously to the needs of the church and
    especially to those who labor in the Word." (The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament, John F.
    Walvood, Roy B. Zuck, P. 1585.)  "Tithing is not taught in the New Testament as an obligation for the
    Christian under grace...Because we are not under the law, but under grace.  Christian giving must not be a
    matter of legalistic obligation, lest we fall into the error of Galatianism."  (The New Treasury of Scripture
    Knowledge, Jerome Smith, p. 1152.)  

    Again, the absence of a command for tithing does not relieve Christians of the responsibility to give.  
    Rather, Christians are held to the higher law of stewardship, acknowledging that everything we have is a
    gift from God and being willing to give it up at any moment that Christ commands (Matthew 19:21).

    It's not a part of the Father's plan of salvation to save us and call us with an holy calling (II Timothy 1:9)
    and then turn around and curse us, as His children ("After His Son was made to be a curse for us"
    Galatians 3:13), if we don't adhere to a monetary system that He himself has not even taught.  In fact, the
    only mentions of one being cursed are: "if any preaches another gospel (Galatians 1:8,9); and those who
    are not His children (II Peter 2:14).

    We simply do not serve that type of God Who would sacrifice His only begotten Son and then turn around
    and curse us if we do not calculate a certain amount of our wages.  Our heavenly Father loves us much
    more than we could ever imagine, for we were once His enemies, yet "we were reconciled to God by the
    death of His Son much more being reconciled we shall be saved by His life" (Romans 5:10).  This was never
    in God's plan for the children of the kingdom of heaven.

    Yet, there are some who would have us believe this untruth, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse,"
    was about storage of crops and grains.  There are some today who teach that the local church is God's
    storehouse, which I will focus on later.  In the book of Genesis 14:20, tithing was first mentioned when
    Abram gave tithes to Melchizedek after returning from war.  We are fully aware that the tithe did not
    originate with the law.  Notice it said he gave, not paid.  This is only one account; another incident involved
    Jacob.  Chapter 28:20-28 states that Jacob made a vow of giving a tithe of ten percent to God, if God would
    be with him.  He really didn't trust God, even after God said He would not leave him in his dream (verses
    15,16).  Should the vow Jacob made be an example of tithing for the church?  I don't think so.

    Let us look closer at this account.  We know that Jacob made a vow; it wasn't a moral obligation or law,
    for a vow would make former meaningless.  When God arrested Jacob's heart and mind to the matter, He
    didn't remind Jacob of a moral obligation or some sort of law, but to the vow that he vowed unto the Lord
    God of his fathers.  Listen to these words: "I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointed the pillar, and
    where thou vowed a vow unto Me: Now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy
    kindred" (Genesis 31:13).  You see, if Jacob had not made this vow unto God, it would not have been
    required of him.  So we can plainly see this cannot be an example to the church of the new covenant today.

    These accounts in Genesis are freewill acts because there were no written laws or commandments at the
    time.  The tithe in Israel consisted of one-tenth of the increase of herds and flocks, in addition to all yearly
    produce.  This offering, which constituted rent or feudal fee, was sacred to Yahweh God.  Certain
    Scriptures suggest that these tithes consisted of ten percent of all that remained after "the first of the
    first-fruits."  According to James 1:18 and I Corinthians 15:20-23, we as believers are considered a kind of
    firstfruit.  The word offerings in Malachi 3:18 is the Hebrew word  t'rumh (ter-oo-maw) meaning tribute-
    gift, heave offering (shoulder), oblation offering.  The same word is used in Exodus 30:11-16 and is defined
    as money (one half shekel), which was an offering unto the Lord to make atonement for the soul.

    Now let us look at how our Lord instructed us to give by using the example of Pharisees' concern of tax
    money collections (Matthew 22:17-22).  This was the temple tax to be paid yearly by every Jew.  When the
    Jews inquired of our Lord concerning tribute money why did they not also inquire about tithes?  Also when
    the Jews confronted our Lord concerning that which was to be paid to Caesar, Jesus instructed them to
    pay what is due to Caesar, and to render unto God the things that are due to God.  Truly they could have
    asked Him did He pay  tithes; perhaps it was a sabbatical year in which no tithes were paid (Exodus 23:10-11;
    Leviticus 25; Deuteronomy 15).  Our Lord Himself paid tribute for the service of the temple.  Having no
    desire to offend, Jesus instructed Peter on what to do in Matthew 24:27.  We know that Jesus Christ is our
    atonement, according to Romans 5:11.

    Elsewhere the Lord said: "Give and it shall be given unto you; pressed down, and shaken together and
    running over, shall men give unto your bosom; for the same measure that you mete [deal out] shall be
    measured to you again" (Luke 6:38).  Why is there no mention of the windows of heaven being opened
    here, even though both are being mentioned during the tithe and offering call?  Some will mention that
    the tithe is holy unto the Lord in Leviticus 27:30, but neglect verse 35, which tells us precisely to whom the
    Lord God considered most holy unto Him?  We don't see any of these things mentioned in the new
    covenant such as: The altar (Exodus 29:36,37), place (Exodus 26:33,34), meat offering (Leviticus 6:17,
    25,29), sin and trespass offering (7:1-7) and the showbread (24:5-9).  Should what was considered holy by
    God supersede that which was most holy?  (Just a thought.)  Think for yourself, child of the living God: Do
    you really think that God our heavenly Father holds what He said about the commandment of the tithe to
    Israel (being holy) as more to Him than His view of us as His temple, which is holy unto Him? (I Corinthians 3:
    16,17; 6:19,20; Ephesians 1:4; Colossians 3:12; I Thessalonians 5:27; II Timothy 1:9; Hebrews 3:1; I Peter 1:
    15,16; 2:5,9; II Peter 1:21).

    But this is the real eye opener: Remember Malachi 4:4?  This is the law the Lord was referring to, for Horeb
    and Mt. Sinai are one and the same; also notice Deuteronomy 1:5,6; this law is the very one the Lord is
    referring to in Malachi 4:4 (See for yourself whether this is of the law or grace).

    Dr. Ernest L. Martin, author of The Tithing Dilemma, has spent forty years studying the teachings of the
    Bible.  He is a professional theologian whose adult years have been constantly involved in the academic
    study of all biblical subjects.  Dr. Martin has taught history for twelve years at a college in England, been
    the chairman of the department of theology at another in California, and has supervised over 450 college
    students at a major archaeological excavation in Jerusalem.  This subject on tithing has been very
    confusing to most of the laity.  Dr. Martin said: "This is because preachers, priests and evangelists have
    misused (indeed, they have abused) the laws of tithing..."

    Chapter three of his book is titled "Jews Do Not Tithe Today."  It begins like this: "thankfully, Jewish
    theologians know better than their Christian counterparts.  They are well aware that only Levities have
    the right to receive tithe of the people.  After all, the Jewish leaders have the Old Testament as their
    Scripture and that's what it commands.  And since there is no temple in existence (and consequently no
    ordained Levites or priest serving in a temple), then a major factor in fulfilling the laws of tithing does not
    exist in our modern world" (p. 13).  The Jewish rabbi that Dr. Martin spoke with concerning the tithe
    explained that "though he was the chief rabbi of his synagogue, he was not a Levite.  He said that he was
    descended from the tribe of Judah and was thereby not eligible to receive tithe."

    The same disqualification applied to even Christ Jesus while He was on earth, since He was also reckoned
    as having come from the tribe of Judah.  This same restriction was applicable to the activities of the
    apostle Peter (because he was as well from Judah) and it applied to the apostle Paul (because he was
    from the tribe of Benjamin).  "Neither Christ nor those apostles were Levites, so they were disqualified
    from receiving any part of the biblical tithe.  It is just that simple.  And listen, if Christ, Peter and Paul did
    not use the biblical tithe for any of their work in the teaching the gospel, Christian ministers today should
    not use the biblical tithe either.  The Jewish religious authorities were wise enough to read what the Word
    of God states about the tithe and, thankfully, they abide in it.  But our Gentile preachers and priests care
    very little what the biblical texts actually state and go merrily on their way by devising their own laws of
    tithing, which are different from those of the Bible" (p. 13, 14). [Sobering huh?]

    "Tithing is of the biblical law.  But so is circumcision and so is the sacrificing of animals.  Does this mean that
    Christians today should ritualistically circumcise their children or sacrifice animals because these laws were
    ordained in the Bible?  Most Christians would not think such Old Testament legislation obligatory for
    Christians who live in this age.  And the Bible makes it clear that such ritualistic practices are not required
    any longer.

    Tithing, however, has been looked on differently by many people, especially by certain Christian ministers
    who need ready money supply to operate their organizations.  It is often argued that God still demands
    tithing and that a person who does not give a tenth of his income for the maintenance of a Christian
    ministry is stealing from God.  (By the way "tithe" is an old English word which simply means "tenth.")  
    Ministers who use such threats do not have the slightest biblical authority to sustain their dogmatic
    assertions.  The tithing laws of the Bible are no more valid today for Christians than the act of offering
    animal sacrifices.  Indeed, even if all the legal factors governing the tithing laws were in force today,
    Christian ministers would still not have any authority from God to use a penny of such funds for their
    ministerial functions.

    Let us face the issue squarely without beating around the bush.  The bible makes it clear (from the time of
    Moses onward)  that Israelites were to pay tithe.  But in doing so, they were strictly ordered to pay the
    tithe  (the tenth) to one group of people and one group only.  To whom was the tithe to be paid?  They
    were the Levites who, among other things, ministered in the temple.  Note Numbers 18:21: "And, behold, I
    have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service of the tabernacle of
    the congregation."  It was made abundantly plain that the biblical tithe was to be paid to the tribe of Levi,
    one of the twelve tribes of ancient Israel.  In this initial law of tithing no one had the slightest authority to
    receive that tithe.  Even Christ Jesus, while He was teaching on earth, did not use (nor did He demand) a
    penny of biblical tithe to fund His teaching activities or those of His apostles.  After all, our lord was
    descended in an adoptive way from Judah (Hebrews 7:14); He was not a Levite.  This made Him ineligible to
    receive any part of the biblical tithe that was ordained for use by the Levites at the time of Moses.  For this
    reason Christ did not use any tithe money to support His ministry.

    The central fact was this: Only members of the tribe of Levi were at first ordained in the Bible to receive the
    tithe.  The Levites in turn were to give one tenth of that to the priests (Numbers 18:25-28), who did not
    tithe at all.  In our modern age, however, even the Levites and priests are disqualified from receiving any
    biblical tithe because there is no official body of men functioning as Levites.

    Since there is no temple in existence, there are also no Levites or priests serving in the temple.  The tithe at
    first was brought into play by Moses to maintain the service of the temple.  With no temple, the  major
    factor for tithe paying does not exist as far as biblical laws of tithing are concerned.  For preachers and
    church leaders to change the direction of paying the tithe from the temple to the service of a Christian
    ministry is to do so without any authority whatsoever from God.  In fact to use the  tithing laws in a
    manner not sanctioned by the Word of God is to sin against biblical law.  And that is what the preachers,
    priests and evangelist are doing today.

    Let me give a modern example of how they violate the law of God.  Now, we are told in the Bible to pay all
    of our debts to whom any debt is due.  Suppose a person bought a refrigerator from Sears and Roebuck
    and was presented with a bill each day to pay on his debt until it was paid.  This would be a reasonable
    thing to do, but suppose this person had a falling out with Sears half way through the payment schedule
    and the person refused to pay them what was owed to Sears.  On one of the bills he might write "I am
    trading at K-Mart from now on and I will be paying them the remainder of the money I owe you for that
    refrigerator."  Not only would Sears not like that, but they could take the person to court and make him
    pay off his debt to the party to whom the debt is owed.

    It is the same thing in paying the biblical tithe.  A person must pay the Levites the debt owed to them and
    not pay it to K-Mart.  No one has the right to choose to whom they pay the tithe that God has ordained to
    be paid to the Levites.  Recall that a squabble came up in the time of Moses over who were to be the
    priests.  Korah and his group felt they had the right to be priests just like Aaron and his sons, but God
    made Israel see very plainly that he chooses people to perform a job and to be paid for it; no other person
    has the privilege to claim that right (Numbers 16:1-50).  Korah and his group found out that God does not
    like other people usurping the role of his ordained Levitical priests.  It is time that the preachers and
    evangelists today ought to heed the teaching of this example of Korah and refrain from collecting tithe
    that belongs to the Levites.


DID THE APOSTLE PAUL TEACH TITHING TO THE CHURCH?, by Jonathan Kithcart, Copyright 2001, WinePress